This week I journeyed further afield in Coos Bay with my crab trapping. My first two weeks of sampling crabs have centered on just the South Slough estuary. Now I’m venturing further out into the region to see how crab populations have changed on a larger spatial scale.
I was joined this Wednesday by Makinna Miles, who was an awesome helper despite getting up at 5:30 am, and wading through knee-high mud!
A little bit more about where I am trapping crabs. I am looking at seven sites in the South Slough estuary which span the range of physical habitats found in the slough. They begin with the more ocean-like sites near the estuary mouth, and extend southward toward more marsh-like sites where freshwater inputs change the physical conditions. The Slough is a great place to trap because it is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System so it has several sensors throughout the marsh recording data about the physical environment, and previous researchers have trapped there for green crabs extensively.
I also want to get a sense of how green crab population is changing in the rest of Coos Bay so I am expanding my focus. I am adding eight sites in the greater Coos Bay region to see how green crab abundance is changing on a larger scale. Since I have access to crab catch data from several previous years in this region I can look for connections between how many crabs have been caught, and large scale environmental trends. I am still figuring out exactly how I’ll do this so stay tuned for next week!
A map of the sites I am sampling this year. In the south west corner are sites in the SSNERR, while in the map center are sites further out in Coos Bay.
In other news this past weekend was my first trip to see redwoods. I went with a few of my fellow interns on an overnight camping trip to see these giants. I was awed as we walked through the first primary forest I have ever experienced. We drove down on Saturday morning, and spent the day hiking in the Jedidiah Smith State park, spent the night in the Six Rivers National Forest, and drove back on Sunday morning. We had car trouble along the way, but it merely served to give conclusive evidence that I am surrounded by some really positive people here at OIMB!
I’m a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying ecology and evolutionary biology. When I’m not doing science I love doing pretty much anything outdoors. I’m an avid backpacker, runner, paddler and rockclimber. Finally I love to read fiction in pretty much any form.